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Jeremy M. Lazarus

Stories by Jeremy M.

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Power, resistance and spiritual beliefs all told in Richmond cemeteries

To Dr. Ryan K. Smith, cemeteries are ideal places to learn about the past and present of a community.

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Pressure mounts on city voter registrar to resign or be fired

J. Kirk Showalter continues to lead the voter registration operation in Richmond, just as she has for 25 years.

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Renaming of Jefferson Davis Highway rolls ahead

His statue has already come down from Monument Avenue.

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Larry J. Bland, whose leadership of The Volunteer Choir spanned more than 45 years, dies at 67

Larry Jerome Bland left his mark on gospel music in Richmond and beyond during an artistic career that spanned more than a half century.

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‘Time to legalize’

Gov. Ralph S. Northam lights fire under legislation on use and sale of marijuana

Marijuana legalization is poised to become another victory for the racial justice movement that rocked Richmond during the late spring and summer, swept away racist Confederate statues and shook up politics as usual.

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New review of Marcus-David Peters case finds shooting justified

Once again, Richmond Police Officer Michael Nyantakyi has been cleared in the May 2018 fatal shooting of 24-year-old teacher Marcus-David Peters during what has been described as a mental crisis, although Mr. Peters’ family continues to describe Mr. Peters’ death as an unpunished murder.

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2nd District surprise

Katherine L. Jordan declared winner of City Council seat after election night miscount

Katherine L. Jordan is in, and Tavarris J. Spinks is out.

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Forward by faith

COVID-19 survivor Rev. Morris R. Gant Jr. credits faith, prayers and medical care for getting him to the other side of pandemic

Tens of thousands of people across Virginia and millions across the nation have been infected with COVID-19 — and the data show the vast majority recovered without feeling much effect. So how bad can this virus be? Just ask the Rev. Morris R. Gant Jr., 62, who is living proof of the agony that those hit hardest can endure — if they live.

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VCU drops Moore Street School day care project

Virginia Commonwealth University apparently has dropped its $5 million plan to transform the historic, but deteriorating Moore Street School in the Carver community near Downtown into a day care and child development center for pre-school children.

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Special prosecutor wants State Police involvement in Confederate statue removal probe

Yes, it merits investigation. No, I’m not going to conduct it. That’s the answer Timothy A. Martin, the Augusta County commonwealth’s attorney, has provided to the question of whether a probe is needed of Richmond’s spending of $1.8 million to remove city-owned Confederate statues from Monument Avenue and other locations in early July.

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Herring asks Va. Supreme Court to remove injunction against taking down Lee statue

Attorney General Mark R. Herring is officially fed up with Richmond Circuit Court judges blocking the removal of the largest symbol of white supremacy in Virginia — the giant statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee on Monument Avenue.

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Jackson Ward hotel project dies after dispute with RRHA over land price

In the summer of 2019, the Richmond Redevelopment and Housing Authority awarded a Black-led development team the right to build a 115-room hotel, at least 63 apartments and a retail store on 3.4 acres in Jackson Ward.

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Friends of East End Cemetery end work at historic cemetery after rift with new owner

The all-volunteer Friends of East End Cemetery no longer is involved in restoring the once abandoned historic African-American burial ground.

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Nail-biter

Joe Biden rallies for likely presidential win

Democrat Joe Biden apparently will be the next president.

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All Souls Presbyterian shares its North Side sanctuary with new nondenominational ministry

Sharing space with other ministries. That is the formula that 68-year-old All Souls Presbyterian Church in North Side is using to keep its doors open.

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Pilot program to guarantee $500 monthly to families – no strings attached

Eighteen Richmond families each will receive $12,000 over two years in a pilot program testing whether a guaranteed income would make a difference in helping them achieve financial stability.

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Virginia voters approval constitutional amendments, local referendums

Yes, to allowing a 16-member commission to undertake the chore of drawing new political maps. Yes, to exempting totally disabled veterans from the local personal property tax on one vehicle. Yes, to casino gambling in four cities located near the border with North Carolina. No, to removing Confederate statues from their locations outside courthouses in six counties, including Charles City County, with a population that is 57 percent people of color.

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Mayor Stoney claims victory nearly 24 hours after polls close

It took an extra day, but Mayor Levar M. Stoney finally could claim victory in his bid for re-election to a second, four-year term.

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Better Housing Coalition to develop affordable apartment complex in Jackson Ward

Another piece of a grand 30-year-old urban renewal plan for Jackson Ward is moving closer to development.

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Trammell, Spinks and Lambert squeeze out victories in City Council races

Tavarris J. Spinks, a specialist in information technology for health care, appears to have eked out a 26-vote victory to claim the vacant 2nd District City Council seat, according to unofficial results released Wednesday.

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Bring it down

Judge rules that Gov. Northam has authority to take down towering statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee on Monument Avenue

Virginia is finally washing its hands of Robert E. Lee, 150 years after his death.

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Gray still questions cost of taking statues down

City Councilwoman Kim B. Gray, who is challenging Mayor Levar M. Stoney for the city’s top elected job, said this week that the Associated Press interview with contractor Devon Henry has not changed her view that an investigation is needed into the $1.8 million contract he received to remove the city’s Confederate statues from Monument Avenue and other public property in early July.

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Virginia Department of Education stepping up its monitoring after critical federal report

Richmond and other local public school divisions will face more oversight of their special education programs from the Virginia Department of Education.

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New single-family homes, townhouses to be developed in Highland Grove

It has taken seven years, but a long-awaited mixed-income subdivision is being launched in the Highland Grove community in North Side.

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4 state schools fail four or more SCHEV performance measures

Smaller enrollments of in-state students and lower than projected graduation rates are among the main reasons that Virginia State and Norfolk State universities got failing grades on most of the performance measures set by the State Council of Higher Education, according to a report released Monday.

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Construction of new city schools didn’t meet deadline, goal for minority participation

Richmond has built three new school buildings, but can teachers and students use them if the School Board decides to restart in-person learning?

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Richmond EMT and new American Doll face to be grand marshal of 37th Annual Christmas Parade

A Richmond woman who spends her days saving lives will be the grand marshal of the 37th Annual Richmond Christmas Parade, it has been announced.

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ELECTION 2020: Will a winner prevail in mayor’s race or will there be a runoff?

Will there be an outright winner or a runoff election?

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ELECTION 2020: Voters are asked to decide on 2 state constitutional amendments

Two state constitutional amendments are on every Virginia voter’s ballot along with candidates seeking office.

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ELECTION 2020: Contests for City Council seats being waged in all but 2 districts

Richmond City Council is guaranteed to have at least two new members sworn in next year, with a potential for additional newcomers depending on the outcome of the five contested races that voters will decide on Election Day.

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George Wythe High School replacement may get new life with expected announcement

City Hall is poised to move faster to replace George Wythe High School in South Side, the Free Press has learned.

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50 homeless people aided under city’s new shelter plan during weekend cold snap

City Hall appears to have succeeded in sheltering the homeless in the first test of its new model to assist people when the temperature plunges.

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General Assembly completes work on budget, criminal justice reform

Fairer sentencing for people convicted of crimes and a Marcus crisis alert system to improve the response to mental health emergencies are among the criminal justice reforms that have emerged from the General Assembly’s special session.

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Confederate Avenue to be renamed

U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine and his wife, Anne Holton, soon will no longer live on Confederate Avenue.

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City Council committee blocks mayor’s dedicated fund plan for affordable housing

A City Council committee has quietly blocked Mayor Levar M. Stoney’s plan to earmark millions of dollars flowing into the general fund to aid development of lower-cost apartments and homes.

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Nasal flush possibly remedy to fight off coronavirus?

Photographer and home builder Robert Liverman has become an unlikely crusader for a method he believes people can use to help protect themselves from COVID-19 — daily rins- ing their noses.

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City Council authorizes use of $500,000 of $18.9M surplus for COVID-19 relief

Richmond City Council on Wednesday informally agreed to steer $500,000 from a ballooning surplus into a COVID-19 relief fund, with a potential for the money to provide emergency aid for city residents in desperate circumstances.

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Henrico pulls funding for prosecutor dedicated to probing police misconduct

Shannon Taylor, Henrico County’s top prosecutor, has dropped her plan to hire the first deputy prosecutor in Virginia who would specialize in investigating police misconduct after Henrico County pulled its share of the funding.

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Mellon Foundation to provide $250M to help communities create new monuments

Suddenly there is a new source of funding that might help Richmond create replacement monuments for the white supremacist Confederates that have been taken down from Monument Avenue and other city sites.

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Rev. Delores R. Seay, associate minister at Triumphant Baptist Church, dies at 86

The Rev. Delores McFadden Robinson Seay, an associate minister at Triumphant Baptist Church who devoted herself to volunteer service at the church and in the community for decades, has died.

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Gov. Northam alleged target of anti-government militia group

Gov. Ralph S. Northam is calling on President Trump to stop encouraging extremists after an FBI agent disclosed in a Grand Rapids, Mich., courtroom Tuesday that Virginia’s chief executive had been mentioned as a potential target for abduction by a paramilitary group under arrest for conspiring to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.

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City moves to reacquire portion of unmarked Black cemetery at Shockoe Hill

The city’s leadership is moving to reverse a nearly 130-year effort to eliminate a major Black cemetery.

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South Side pastor withstands termination vote

Dr. Michael A. Sanders remains the pastor of historic Mt. Olive Baptist Church in South Side.

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Another case of inequity?

2 people rob the same SunTrust Bank but sentences different as black and white

Two people robbed the same SunTrust Bank branch in Hanover County four years apart.

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Walter E. Baker Sr., partner in the former Baker & Dyson painting and contracting company, dies at 92

For more than 40 years, Walter Edward Baker Sr. partnered with his friend Lynwood M. Dyson Sr. on home improvement projects in Richmond.

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Plans in the works to create several 24-hour homeless shelters

Frizzell Stephens wishes he had a roof over his head.

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Judge rules against Sa’ad El-Amin entering Lee statue lawsuit

“Black lives still don’t matter,” former Richmond City Councilman Sa’ad El-Amin said as he left a Richmond courtroom last Friday.

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Richmond Police detectives indicted on misdemeanor charges

The Richmond Police Department appears to have largely dodged a legal bullet from the actions of its officers during the spate of protests over police brutality and racial injustice during late spring.

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Bottom of the pack

Richmond Public Schools’ on-time graduation rate still lowest in state

Richmond Public Schools continues to generate more dropouts and produce fewer graduates in four years than virtually any other school division in Virginia, according to the latest yearly report from the state Department Education.

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Ready for sale: City wants to dispose of high-value property

The vacant Richmond Coliseum in Downtown. The aging Arthur Ashe Jr. Athletic Center in North Side. The historic but long-closed Fulton Gasworks in the East End. These are among 13 pieces of city property described as high-value that Mayor Levar M. Stoney’s administra- tion wants permission to sell.